Awhile back I got a couple of small solar chargers from American Science & Surplus and though they came with many different types of cords and adapters none fit my cell phone. So I bought the USB adapter($1.95) and that did the trick. I plugged the charger into the phone and it started charging! Huzzah! and BOUNCE BOUNCE. I now have a way to charge all kinds of small electronic gadgets that will fit into a BOB or BOV and the “notebook” charger ($6.95) includes a flashlight for about $10.00 total cost. To bad the plug did not fit the little windup flashlight but that was a bit much to ask. I got another Butane stove that will go into the Kia to replace the sterno stove in case I get stuck and need to stay warm and heat up a little water or meal. I’ll test my metal water bottles to see how quickly the Butane stove heats the bottle of water but I’m feeling darn positive on how my little system will work. While the canned heat from the sterno lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours the Butane can lasts 2-4 hours while putting out more heat. I figure about $20.00 total cost and I will be able to stay warm and have an additional power source and flashlight along with the car’s fuel and battery power would make get stuck for a couple of days a lot more tolerable and safer!
Mom laid down the law to my brother about picking names for Xmas and while the timing is a little late I’m going to try and do up a a batch of all grain dark ale for my neice that likes dark beers. I’m not sure it will be ready on time so I have a food/ gift basket full of spices and the fixings for pizza and bread as well as a couple of recipes she likes and is learning to make. I have a few standby presents for others that are not covered by me. So I just adapt and hope for the best. I’m getting down this all grain beer making system of keeping the temp. between 150-160 degrees F. for the grains by using a very thick oversize beach towel to wrap the stock pots and then letting the grains go for about 90 minutes seems to make up for me not sparging the grain via the traditional method of brewing. I seem to be making a good beer and my numbers are matching up to what the traditional brewers are getting even though it does take a little extra time using the BIAB method. It was very nice to pay only $8. 80 for getting some grains for flavor, hops and yeast since I had bought the malted barley in bulk. Approx. $12.00 for a couple of cases of really good beer is a bargain.
It looks like I’ll be able to purchase the last item to finish up my water preps next week. That is the Zodi portable propane water heater with battery powered pump. Sportsmansguide.com has “reconditioned” ones back in stock for $85.00 at full shipping it’s still under $100.00 but I hope I can catch a special on shipping for Xmas and reduce the cost a few dollars. That will be the last item that I feel I need to cover any water is out/not working for my personal water preps. As this will be the last buy for 2012 I’m feeling darn positive about all I have done even though I missed a couple of goals. I got a lot of other things done because few bargains popped up through out this year that I thought I would not be able to get for another year or two on my budget.
Keep working your plan starting with the most probable disaster like a snow/ice storm or whatever tends to be your area’s special little gift from Mama Nature. Then you build for the next likely event and so on…. After you get a bit of stuff and skills it and you start feeling confident that you can handle that little disaster, as well as saving some money. Then you move on to the next goal. It really is just like “eating an elephant” just one bite at a time.
Update: I’m not sure why I seem to get such a big kick on the “potential” alcohol OG reading on my Table Rock dark ale clone but it’s well over 7%. But I do have a name for it ” Table Rock Terminator”. It’s very smooth drinking ale and has a bad tendency to sneak up on a person without any warning!